Let’s be honest with each other. If you’re going to see Dumb and Dumber To, it’s probably because you have fond memories of the original installment. Two very loveable idiots get to do what best buddies always do: take a cross country trip in a not so ideal vehicle, with plenty of laughable hi-jinx to be found everywhere, all while trying to deliver a package to a beautiful woman at a fundraiser. In this sequel, we get to see the duo of Christopher Lloyd (Jim Carrey) and Harry Dunne (Jeff Daniels) reunite, as they take a cross country trip in order to deliver a package to a beautiful woman at a fundraiser…but with less laughable hi-jinx as before.
Somehow, the charm of the original is really not there. It’s not that the jokes aren’t funny, but a lot seems recycled. The breath spray missing the mouth, the dead birds with the blind tenant of their apartment, Lloyd fantasizing about his dream girl who then turns into a big rig, dressing up ridiculously for the fundraiser, accidentally killing the assassin they were road tripping with…well, you get the idea. It’s almost like they were banking on nostalgia alone.
If you like the type of movie that will barrage you with penis jokes, urine jokes, poop jokes, fart jokes, and yes, even a vagina joke (albeit a really old one) then you’re striking comedy gold here. I knew these types of jokes were coming my way. I was expecting them, and to be fair even I must admit that I chuckled at some of them. Then again, I laughed hysterically when Lloyd snuck laxatives into Harry’s drink in the first one and he had to poop in a broken toilet, so there goes my credibility.
So what separates this from the original? Where did things go wrong?
For starters, the original did indeed focus on this duo of Lloyd and Harry being complete idiots…but they were the only two idiots. A huge amount of laughter comes from seeing how normal, sane, intelligent people react to them. These were two seriously dumb men who were living in our world. There was a charm in how socially unaware they were. In this sequel, it seems everyone is raunchy and idiotic. Who cares if they’re idiots, so was everyone else. It ends up taking a lot of that charm away when you know that the characters involved with them will not be as stunned as normal people might be.
The second problem this movie was with how mean these two have become. In the first movie I saw them as dumb but loveable, almost always trying to do the right thing. Even when Lloyd sells a dead bird to Billy the blind tenant, Harry instantly reacts to how shockingly bad that is. Unfortunately, that’s not the case here. They tell a female doctor that it’s odd a female would be a doctor because they “should be doing laundry instead.” At this point, I don’t know if I wanted to laugh. I knew the movie wanted me to, but I felt it was really too mean. They push people until they break, publicly, and at a certain times I couldn’t cheer them on anymore. I put my head down, my hand over my face and just wished it would stop.
The laughs are few-and-far-between. Sure, there are jokes-a-plenty, you see them, you hear them, the movie is telling you that you were just hit by a joke but the laughs hardly come out. I have to say that while I did have myself some good chuckles, they were because the film stuck to the original formula of the first one.
The cast itself does a great job. Jim Carrey performs well and makes a million faces, still pulling it off excellently. Jeff Daniels manages to pull the same stutters and stares as he did in the original, and the added characters are great. Rachel Melvin’s appearance almost making it a comedy trio, as she acts just as Harry and Lloyd do, pulling it off very well. Laurie Holden is the main antagonist, and she awesome. Rob Riggle is his usual loveable self, and indeed his charm does rub off on you if you’re a fan of his. Added cameos include Bill Murray, Paul Blackthorne, and an admittedly nothing short of fan service cameo post credits (if you’re a fan of the original, stick around for that one, you’ll love it). You’ll find the cast does their jobs well, and you’ll leave with a good impression of them.
It starts out with a good laugh, and there are some legitimately “Dumb and Dumber-esque” moments where I really laughed out loud, but at this point I wonder who wrote the movies script. Who put these jokes together? Was this really the Farelly Brothers’ doing? Well, yes…and about four more people to make up a six-person writing team. I could go on about how so many dead jokes managed to make it into the final product without the other five noticing, but I feel I’m beating a dead horse here.
It would be unfair to compare it to the original, but even compared to the prequel this movie is off. In Dumb and Dumberer: When Harry Met Lloyd there is an excuse as to why they’re dumber, they’re much younger. They’re still good hearted kids, you feel good to root for them, and they made an original plot and premise to the movie, and at least the poop jokes were accompanied by Bob Saget.
In the end, this movie advertises itself on the radio and on TV as being dumber than ever, and they’re not lying. They deliver everything you expect. The same type of jokes, the same plot, the original duo, and so forth. I think this movie can ride you a bit with a lot of good nostalgia, some very clever jokes thrown in here and there, but it’s not enough to save it from all the dead jokes, cringe-worthy moments that make you feel uncomfortable, and recycled jokes that aren’t funny anymore.
Dumb and Dumber To opens nationwide, Friday, November 14, 2014